Past research has demonstrated that news coverage of cancer research, and scientific research generally, rarely contains discourse-based hedging, including caveats, limitations, and uncertainties. In a multiple message experiment (k = 4 news stories, N = 1082), the
authors examined whether hedging shaped the perceptions of news consumers. The results revealed that participants were significantly less fatalistic about cancer (p = .039) and marginally less prone to nutritional backlash (p = .056) after exposure to hedged articles. Participants
exposed to articles mentioning a second researcher (unaffiliated with the present study) exhibited greater trust in medical professions (p = .001). The findings provide additional support for the inclusion of discourse-based hedging in cancer news coverage and suggest that news consumers
will use scientific uncertainty in illness representations.
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Document Type: Research Article
Department of Communication, and Oncological Sciences Center, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA
Department of Communication, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA
Publication date: 2011-05-01
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